Debut novelists can be counted on to bring fresh voices, diverse story lines, and singular characters.

From across the globe and a wide variety of backgrounds, this season’s neophytes offer tales dark and light, with such characters as French ingénues, legendary cricket stars, and talking platypuses. Here, the stories behind 11 particularly promising newcomers.

Firsts in Fiction: Debut Fiction Spring 2012: G. Willow Wilson: A Fantasy Revolution Gets Real

Firsts in Fiction: Debut Fiction Spring 2012: Cristina Alger: Gotham Gossip

Firsts in Fiction: Debut Fiction Spring 2012: Howard Anderson: Adventure Down Under

Firsts in Fiction: Debut Fiction Spring 2012: Carole DeSanti: Secret Passions Go Public

Firsts in Fiction: Debut Fiction Spring 2012: Karen Thompson Walker: A Shift in Gravity

Firsts in Fiction: Debut Fiction Spring 2012: Chris Pavone: Luxembourg Redux

Firsts in Fiction: Debut Fiction Spring 2012: Regina O'Melveny: A Poetic Renaissance

Firsts in Fiction: Debut Fiction Spring 2012: Brandon Jones: Exploring the Axis of Evil

Firsts in Fiction: Debut Fiction Spring 2012: Shehan Karunatilaka: The Universal Language of Sports

Firsts in Fiction: Debut Fiction Spring 2012: Vaddey Ratner: Holding onto Hope